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Course Description

This course will review legal definitions of homicide, statistical trends in homicide-both in Canada and internationally-and theoretical explanations of homicide. The course will also examine the key criminological/ sociological empirical research studies on the various types of homicide, such as: femicide, familialcide, serial and mass murder.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Explain homicide using a sociological criminological framework, including why it is important to study this phenomenon;
  2. Describe the role the media plays in shaping our perceptions of homicide and who is involved, as well as the accuracy of these representations;
  3. Identify and describe available data sources used to study homicide and analyze their strengths and limitations;
  4. Identify, explain and assess major theories of homicide, and apply the theories to real-life scenarios;
  5. Differentiate among the many types of homicide, including the common characteristics of those involved and the circumstances surrounding the killing; and
  6. Describe and assess the criminal justice and community responses to homicide and evaluate the effectiveness in deterring, controlling and preventing homicide.

Course Topics

  • Why Study Homicide?
  • How Do We Study Homicide?
  • What Do We Know about Homicide? Trends Over Time and Place
  • Understanding Why Homicides Occur – Sociological Perspectives
  • Multiple Homicides
  • Homicides Among Friends, Acquaintances, and Strangers
  • Children as Offenders and Victims of Homicide
  • Intimate Partner Homicide
  • Responses to Homicide
  • Future Directions in Homicide Prevention

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): 1 of ANTH*1150, FRHD*1010, PHIL*1010, POLS*1400, PSYC*1000, PSYC*1100, PSYC*1200, SOC*1100, SOC*1500

Restriction(s): This is a Priority Access Course. Enrolment may be restricted to particular programs or specializations. Please see the departmental website for more information.


Assessment Item Weight Learning Outcomes
PRAIs 10% 2, 4, 5, 6, 7
Unit Quizzes 20% 2, 4, 5, 6, 7
Unit Assignments 25% 2, 4, 5, 6, 7
Comparing Homicide Locally and Globally 25% 1, 2, 4, 5, 6
Representing Homicide: Fact or Fiction? 20% 1, 2, 3, 5, 6
Total 100%  

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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